The 1st Round of the 2018 NFL Draft is officially in the books and as you know by now, the Detroit Lions surprised a lot of people by selecting center Frank Ragnow with the 20th overall pick. There was no question about it that the Lions had to improve their offensive line before the start of the 2018 regular season and Ragnow certainly helps the cause.
Bob Quinn has made it clear that he believes in building a team from the inside out and selecting Ragnow fit that belief perfectly. In what is considered one of the best conferences in America almost every season, Ragnow absolutely shut down SEC pass rushers while starting three seasons at Arkansas.
Now that Quinn has addressed the offensive line by grabbing Ragnow in the 1st Round, what should his plan be for Round 2?
Here are three players the Detroit Lions MUST consider selecting in the 2nd Round. As you will see, we believe that Quinn has to grab a defensive tackle on Friday night.
Maurice Hurst (DT) – Michigan
Before finding out about Maurice Hurst’s heart issue, he was one of the players I believed the Lions should target in the opening round of the NFL Draft. Now that Hurst has been cleared to play, he would be an absolute dream pick for Detroit in the 2nd Round. Hurst has a great first step and though some believe he can only succeed in a 4-3 defense, you can bet that Lions head coach Matt Patricia would find a way to get the best out of him in Detroit.
“Hurst is an upfield three-technique who gets out of the blocks ahead of his competition as soon as the starter’s pistol goes off. His ability to come out fast and low should create opportunities to become a disruptive penetrator, but he has to prove that he has the strength to play through redirect blocks and hold up against NFL interior linemen. Will need to be cleared medically at re-check after heart irregularities showed up at combine.”
Harrison Phillips (DT) – Stanford
Harrison Phillips is a player who would come in and immediately improve the Lions rush defense which struggled in 2017. Phillips, who is a former 3-time State Champion wrestler may not do things the conventional way but he certainly finds a way to disrupt an offense.
“Phillips plays a little upright and looks more like a guard than nose, but he definitely has the leverage and power to play to anchor and muddy the run game waters. Phillips has a feel for blocking schemes and is able to handle down blocks and double teams while allow linebackers to flow to the ball. As a former wrestler, he’s a natural scrambler with non-traditional ways of finding the football and finding the quarterback. He has early starter potential and could find snaps on passing downs as well.”
Derrick Nnadi (DT) – Florida State
Last but certainly not least on this list is Derrick Nnadi out of Florida State. Nnadi, like Hurst and Phillips is a player who could come in and make an immediate impact on the Lions defensive line. Though he is not a player who is going to get to the quarterback too often, Nnadi certainly had the strength to shed blockers and make plays in the run game.
“It’s hard to find “bad tape” for Nnadi. While NFL teams may see an undersized 4-3 nose tackle with limited pass rush value, I see a player with good power at the point of attack who can dislodge from single blocks and make plays. Nnadi has a good motor, active hands and enough pass rush ability to cause problems for blockers up front. Nnadi has the physical tools to play in one or two-gap schemes and has NFL starting ability.”